This year, the Belgian Waffle Ride offered up it’s sixth course in six years, with 12,000 feet of climbing, 41-miles of off-road across 17 sectors, headwinds in every direction, prickly desert heat and deep sand arroyos.
Not unlike the Spring Classics, the BWR course has changed over the years and 2017 is no different. This year’s course is very different in many ways from the previous editions, but it does take its cues from the best sectors of previous years, as prescribed by the riders, and added in some new ones to create the best, most dynamic course yet.
The best bike is really dependent on the rider’s skill and comfort in the dirt. The faster and more experienced riders will use their road bikes with 25 or 28mm tires, as this is a road race, not a gravel grinder.
The dirt has a special way of zapping the strength of even the most prepared riders because it’s often really soft and hard to maintain any kind of speed. Some of the dirt stretches are really long. Some of them are really rocky. Others are sandy.
Five years ago the Cervélo Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) was created in the spirit of the great Monuments of Cycling—those long, undulating one-day events known collectively as the Spring Classics. These exciting and unpredictable races across parts of Europe—especially Belgium—owe their lore, drama and pageantry to the off-road (cobbled) sectors that punctuate their parcourses underneath the drizzle of spring in the Benelux region.
The Belgian Waffle Ride files its teeth for no one, delivering special treatment in the form of sickly strung together sectors of dirt and pavement to all. Herein lies the tales of those who attacked, suffered or merely survived the 2016 BWR. — MMX